Hydraulic power, or the use of pressurized fluids to make machinery run, has advanced at such a rate that virtually every factory, project, or operation depends on this technology to push forward productivity. There are now components in modern hydraulic systems so sophisticated that they can power equipment without directly being a part of it, such as hydraulic power packs that provide energy to the valve of a separate machine altogether. Hydraulic power units, consisting mainly of a motor, a reservoir and a hydraulic pump, have also emerged. They generate a tremendous amount of energy, drawing it from ratios of area and pressure.
The former are stand-alone devices, supplying power for hydraulic machinery without the need for the machinery to carry a built-in power supply. Modern units can be designed to be very portable and also offer a choice of valve connections, providing more seamless control over a variety of equipment using one, compatible source. What’s more is their life can be extended with regular maintenance – check regularly for dents, cracks and corrosion. Change the fluid consistently, and if one of these packs is giving you trouble before its time, contact a hydraulic-engineering specialist such as those working with Pneutech Rousseau for assistance as they offer full service and repair for hydraulic products and are available for preventative maintenance calls as well.
Hydraulic units power numerous applications from car lifts and scissor lifts, to dump trailers, electric sanitation trucks, snowplows, and even complex telescopic logistics equipment, without them it would be highly strenuous to perform any kind of heavy lifting, or jobs that require the repeated use of powerful and directional force.
Advances in the technology are allowing safer cars to be invented, with brakes that stop vehicles in motion faster, better quality airplanes are being manufactured as hydraulics govern the adjusting of wings and when an airplane’s landing gear is released. As well, the industry is paying attention to customer demands, like creating more user intuitive controls, and pumps that are more cost effective. They’re focussing on reducing the noise of a machine, while increasing uptime and reliability. Overall goals for those engineering this technology also centre around increasing energy efficiency, building smarter components, making systems more compact, and reducing environmental impact.
Furthermore, research and development of electro hydraulics is going to continue – or using electric energy under the surface of a liquid to provide additional power. Electronics are being added into the pieces of systems such as in the pumps, valves, motors, and cylinders themselves. This is already being implemented in the automation industry, and will only expand.
Society relies on hydraulic power to run smoothly and efficiently, it allows industry to meet the demands of present-day consumers who utilize the technology for everything from driving to work every morning, to reaching the floor of their apartment building on the elevator, to having their garbage picked up and disposed of regularly. Thanks to ongoing research and technological developments, hydraulic power will only be harnessed more economically, and high-performance systems will continue to emerge.
Michael Sanduso lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a freelance writer and editor, tech geek, and stay at home father.